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Sunday 3 January 2010

New Year's Eve/ Pesto & Tuna Pasta Recipe

Our New Year's Eve Party was brilliant!! We had 25 guests, some had to bring their own chairs because we had to return some to our neighbours who also had a party that night. We decided not to do a typical Fernandez & Leluu night - still lots of food but without a schedule, like a house party.

It started with me queuing for 40 mins outside Steve Hatt's Fish Monger on Essex Road - thankfully I had ordered the fish the day before because they had sold out of most of their stock. It was quite nice to see a big ice box labelled 'Fernandez & Leluu' - made it feel very official and formal after waiting in line for so long, and also gave me a big self gratifying evil grin.


Salmon & Tuna Sashimi With Watercress Salad & Orange, Soy & Mirin Dressing
Uyen's Bolognese Sauce With Pasta
Uyen's Pesto & Garlic & Rosemary Bread
Simon's Terrine
Lamb & Chicken Banquet With Roasties & Carrots
Orange & Vodka Panna Cotta With White Chocolate Shavings & Strawberry Sauce.

Our guests had mostly been ones who have been here at least once, Luiz (The London Foodie) & Dr G, Gail (One Million Gold Stars) & Simon, Rejina & Joe (Gastrogeek), Billy & Adele. And for those who came for the first time, were utterly over taken by the great spirit of the house. Everyone together, old and new faces with big smiles - lots of sparkling and food and roars of laughter and great hope for 2010. It was a fantastic night. We even managed to share a toast to Hamza & Natasha who got engaged. After depositing large sharing plates out to different tables (eventually - sorry guys) We joined all our guests for dinner for the first time and loved being part of the atmosphere.

Being as we are, we all shuffled around, mingling and meeting each other with enormous happy faces. All our status and baggage left outside the door as we all took each other as we were. 

We were once asked what our Unique Selling Point (USP) is when we started all three months ago. It was then: good food and it is still just good food.  Happy bellies make happy people, no gimmicks necessary. It is incredibly humbling to have great food lovers and great writers return to us on New Year's Eve- (whom I admire immensely and have provided us with so much inspiration from their love of food as well as the poetry they share when expressing about it).

Before we started Fernandez & Leluu, we had no idea about the food world. We just stepped in, blind, dipping our toes into a bit of research on the way and just doing it how we think it should be done with fun (as well as tears). The reputation we have created has definately taken us both by surprise. And we are certainly blessed with very very great guests. Thank you to all those who came and keep coming back to Fernandez & Leluu.

I used to think that making my own pesto would make a cheap dinner but after buying all fine quality ingredients for it, I wouldn't really class pesto as something cheap! However, it does go a long way - if you don't share it with anyone or let anyone have your jar!

I remember, once, my lovely friend, Anja came from Berlin and stayed over and polished the whole lot before I even stepped through the door! She said, "Sorry Uyen, it was so so good!" And if there is any in the fridge, William is sure to polish most of it off - he is English you see and will never take the last bit! hehe...

Rejina and Gail seemed to have loved the pesto I put on the table on New Year's Eve so here is the recipe: (to no surprise - it was all gone by the time I sat down!)

For a jar - about 300g

(all estimates below - use your own judgment and always taste)

3 bags of basil
About 3 tbs Pine Nuts
Half Wedge of Parmesan - grated
3 tbs Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt - to taste
Lemon - to taste

Combine all ingredients into a blender and wizz away - taste and season
Put into jar and pour some more olive oil on top to prevent from drying out.

Great with pasta & parmesan & pepper
Love it with Spaghetti & Pan Fried Tuna
Great with Toast or lovely breads
Its also a nice salad dressing if you make it slightly more runny

Post New Year Brunch

Pasta With Fresh Tuna & Corriander

I have never expected in my life to ever wake up, check the iPhone for messages but to receive and read reviews about US! Ever! Its an amazing feeling that we have been having over the last 3 months -one of the things that make it all worthwhile.

Here is one we got and I read out aloud from TomEatsJenCooks: Thank you so much guys! We feel so honoured to be part of your great blog!!
Top 5 Restaurant Reviews of 2009
Fish Tales Revisted Review

Then, Simon decided to have a bath whilst I made this simple lunch from leftover sashimi grade tuna. The bits you shouldn't serve as sashimi (on the edge of the flesh) you could simply fry up for a real tuna pasta. (I do not understand how anyone can eat canned tuna - though I have been eating junk food since 2010 started and considering another kebab or curry as I write this - from the guy on the moped)

When Simon got out of the bath, we saw that Simon had actually sank the bath! Can you believe it? Who sinks a bath?! All the tiles fell off the side like a little sunk ship! I wish I took a picture. So unfortunately, he didn't enjoy this meal as much as he should have done! But it was utterly delicious in my book.

-Pasta - (Make sure its al dente - the packet always says you should cook it for about 3 mins more than you are suppose to - this is a crime! I usually boil most pastas for about 8 mins, check it and if neccessary add another minute. Don't forget that it will still cook as its still hot).
-Half small onion
-2 cloves of garlic
-Fresh Tuna - marinate in a bit of terriyaki sauce while the water is boiling
-Corriander (or herb of choice, basil or parsley is nice)
-Salt & Pepper

While the water is boiling, marinate the tuna. Dice the onions & garlic.
Once the pasta is in, you have about 8 mins
You do not need to start cooking the fish.
At about 4 minutes left, heat the pan (takes about 1 or 2 mins)
With Olive Oil fry the onions til brown
Then throw in the marinaded tuna with the garlic
Brown the fish quickly then add corriander and season - tasting all the time.
The pasta should then be drained and poured into the pan with the fried tuna
Add some butter, mix all together and serve.

Happy New Year! Hope that 2010 will bring you all great feeds!
We will be doing more events fortnightly and trying out things outside our comfort zone. We seem to love living on the edge - I wish you can see the near misses, the almost end of, the drama, the tears, the tantrums and sinking of the bath... Do everything with love!

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